We spent four nights in Chang Mai, and although it is somewhat smaller than Bangkok it is still Thailand's second largest city and very polluted and Touristy.
Chang Mai has an old district where most of the Tourism is centered. The old district is the part of the original city that was surrounded by a wall and moat. The moat is still in exsistance and ruins of the old wall are still around the city.
|Room at Diva guesthouse is Chang Mai|
It is a nice city but like many places we visited I felt that I wished I had seen it all thirty years earlier before it became so built up and touristy. But then I can also say that about places where I have lived in Australia! When I first moved to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland 30 years ago it still had the feel of a small beach-side town. Byron Bay 30 years ago was beautiful. I rememberstaying with my parents in a small fibro beach bungalow...where the gaint, modern Byron Hotel now stands...
We left Chang Mai (by mini bus, one of the most winding roads combined with a wanna-be formular 1 racing car driver) and 4 hours later arrived at a town called Pai. Pai apparently is the layed back hippy town of Thailand. To me it just seemed like another touristy town; the difference being that all the markets and activities are aimed at the "hippy" tourists pocket...but it was senically a beautiful area.
While we were here we rented our first motor scooters. We were staying a bit out of town and thought it would be good for getting around.
|Tama, Tui and Peace on their scooter|
I'm in love with Scooters! If I lived in a town or a slightly less hilly area (and didn't have so many kids to cart around) I would definitly buy a Scooter. They are so cheap to run and fun to ride.
After a couple of days we were ready to head more off the beaten path on our quest to actually expeience Thailand away from the touristy built-up areas.
I had read an article in the Bangkok Post that mentioned a small guest house in a small villiage owned by an ex-pat Australian and since the main activities in the area seemed to be rockclimbing, white water rafting and caving I had no trouble convincing Peace that we go there.
|Tui on the banks of the Lod River near Ban Tham Lod|
|Cave Lod Guest House|
|Walking to the cave|
This guest house know as Cave Lodge
Best place we went to in Thailand!
On a river in a secluded villiage. There's so much to say about it but I can't say it all.
The owner of the Cave Lodge John is absolutely amazing, inspirational man.
The location is beautiful.
While we were there we went caving and on Zans 17th Birthday went rafting down the Lod river through a 400m long cave.
Then John, the lodge owner arranged this beautiful birthday cake for Zan.
|The tiny, muddy tunnel we crawled through to get inside the cave. It then opened up into a room about 10meters high and went back into the mountain for 8km!|
|Going into the cave|
|Inside Tham Lod (Cave Lod)|
|coming out of the cave|
|Tui and I with our River guide|